A new beginning

As Robert C. Gallagher once said, Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine.

I am leaving Penrith in a few days to head to Europe for 7 or so months of paddling, travelling and most of all fun… well definitely the first two and hopefully the third.

I have had an exciting and active year since recovering from shoulder surgery. I have:

  • lost 20kgs
  • become the Vice-President of our Canoe club
  • covered 3000kms in my training
  • lifted over 200 tonnes of weights
  • worked full time
  • become Oceania Champion

Those are the positive things. Life however, as most discover, is not defined by the successful and easy things but by the challenges.

I have rediscovered the hard lesson, that in sport, except for the very few, you do not finish as a ‘winner’.

Over the years the cliché “it does not matter where you finish as long as you do your best” has been the idea that I have been moving towards but this has been a long journey for someone who was so keen on sport probably because of a deep desire to be the best. The challenge for me is in trying reconciling these two feelings that can, in a bitterly ironic way, make things incredibly hard.

When you win, you can end up thinking about all the technical errors you have made and when you come lower in the standings but paddle well, you have that desire that you had won “at all costs”.

As I launch into my travels, I understand that the challenges before me are substantial and many of those are very close to home!



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